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Volume 91, Issue 44

Friday, November 14, 1997

calling wood


Western declaws Badger threat

©Gazette File Photo
HOW ARE GOING TO PLAY DODGEBALL WITH THIS NET IN THE WAY. The Brock Badgers did a good job dodging the ball Wednesday night, allowing Western's women to go home early with an easy victory.

By John Intini

Gazette Staff

The Western women's volleyball team came out of Wednesday night's game against an anemic Brock Badgers club without a scratch, but will have to put on full riot gear tonight when they take the court against Guelph in a meeting of division rivals.

Mustang head coach Dean Lowrie said the one-sided affair, which finished in three quick sets (15-1, 15-5, 15-2), was simply an opportunity for some of his younger players to take the court.

"The game was very important in the sense that everybody got to play," Lowrie said. "These are the type of games that help your team prepare for the tough matches and playoffs. Watching the whole team perform is a good feeling even in an easier match."

Team captain Lynn MacDonald agreed with her coach, adding although the game against the toothless Badgers was a simple tune-up, it did have its benefits.

"In order for a team to be successful, it is important that the starters are pushed," she said. "Giving the younger players a chance on the court only betters competition in the fight for a starting spot."

The Mustangs, ranked eighth in the country, will have to bear down as they prepare to take on a much tougher opponent – the Guelph Gryphons, who roll into town tonight. The game will be a battle for first place between the two undefeated clubs and could foreshadow who will represent the West division in February.

"Guelph is quite unlike the rest of the division based on their size," Lowrie said. "They have a number of big players, which is different from most other teams who usually have only one or two.

"In the past they have given us some real trouble and in order for us to continue undefeated we will have to focus on both our serving game and rhythm in offence."

The past performance Lowrie is referring to is the preseason match-up between the two West powerhouses at the McMaster tournament. Finishing fifth, Western played poorly – losing to a stronger Guelph squad. "The tournament at Mac was really tough for us and we weren't really ready," MacDonald said. "We have really gelled as a team since that tournament and will definitely be ready this time."

MacDonald's role on the team has changed from past years, based on her academic responsibilities, Lowrie said.

"Lynn is still an incredible leader, but her leadership is a little different from last year," he said. "Since she is now in teachers' college, she is away from the school which means most of her leadership is on the court."

Game time is 6 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997